Stress & Guilt Are Killing Youngest

by Buster

So, I might be a hypochondriac -- but my body is reacting in ways I have never recognized in my near-50 years. I have aged in ways I never thought possible. I hurt all over, 24/7 -- my muscles, my bones... and there's this gnawing pain in my solar plexus that's been there for months, and just won't go away.

I self-medicate to make the pain go away -- the pain in my body and the pain in my mind.

I know I am as healthy as a horse, but I feel like I'm dying. And if I don't find some peace soon, I may actually die from the stress. (It's not lost on me that unexpected strokes run on both sides of my family.)

Long story as short as I can make it:

I moved home after my dad died nearly 20 (!) years ago to be with my mother -- who was then in good shape. Now, not so much; I can't count her health crises over the past ten years. I have spent more hours sitting with her in the E.R. and in ICU than I can recall. She's come through emergencies that should kill a person half her age.

She's almost 90 now, and I am almost 50 -- and I am collapsing, mentally, emotionally, and physically, under the guilt, the resentment, I feel toward my mother and toward my two older sisters (both in their 60s, one married and tied to her work/home, the other divorced and living in a fantasy world where she's waiting for her Prince Charming to come take her away to some grand palace -- literally).

I am TIRED of being the "responsible one." I am TIRED of my mother getting crabbier with me day by day, always AT ME, more frequently asking "What's WITH you?" when there is NOTHING "with" me, or when I simply hold my tongue -- which I do constantly, just to avoid a fight.

Everybody sees my mother as a walking, living saint -- but she is always AT me, always BORED, always DOWN about something... I don't understand how anyone can be bored; you could drop me on a desert island, and I would never be bored. I would watch the fish, I would make art out of rocks, I would sit and THINK... I could never be bored.

I understand it must be terrible to know you are nearing the end of your life, and all you ever accomplished was raising your children -- not that that is
nothing, but when they are grown, what ELSE have you got?

I cannot see putting my mother in a home -- I think the idea abhorrent, and she is not so far gone; she still works (!) a couple days a week, and still drives herself around, so she is probably good for some years yet. And with her excellent health care, she may live to 100 or more.

Yet she isn't wealthy enough to afford assisted living and she isn't poor enough to qualify for anything else.

And so, here we are.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. I am married now, and I wonder when the heck my REAL life with my wife will ever begin. We want to move to the country and have a small Gentleman's Farm -- but we feel stuck here as long as my mother is alive.

My mother refuses to move out of the area (we would welcome her living with us), because "her doctors are here" -- yet all her friends and most of her family are dead, and she does nothing here in the way of hobbies, or anything else. There is nothing she would be without in the area in which we want to move (which would be much less expensive than where we are now -- and expenses are her biggest worry -- but she can't seem to take that lessening burden under consideration; I think she is a creature of habit, or perhaps afraid of the unknown).

I don't know how my wife puts up with me and my increasing stress over this situation -- but she does. I had a complete meltdown last night, and yet there she was, there for me. I would not blame her if she threw up her hands and ran away. I am lucky beyond words she doesn't.

I do not wish my mother dead, but I wonder if we will ever be free. I am not young anymore; if I am lucky, I may have 30 years or so left -- if I am not lucky, I may die at any moment; one never knows what tomorrow will bring.

I want my life back. I want my future, with my wife, to begin NOW. But does that mean I have to wait for my mother to die?

I don't wish for my mother's death, but I WISH FOR MY LIFE TO BEGIN!

P.S. Re the person who said you should never move home "temporarily" because you will be stuck forever -- HEED THAT ADVICE!!!

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